Keiss Castle
Admire spectacular views of the old Keiss Castle ruins, perched high on a cliff top over Sinclair's Bay, as part of a stunning coastal walk.

The ruins of Keiss Castle in Caithness

The dramatic castle overlooking Sinclair's Bay

Keiss Castle stands in ruins on sheer cliffs over Sinclair’s Bay. The structure dates from around 1755 and is sadly now unstable and therefore unsafe to enter. However, you can admire spectacular views of the castle from the beach. You can enjoy these as part of a stunning coastal walk, which also takes in the Iron Age ruins of Nybster Broch.

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Nybster Broch and Keiss Castle walk

From Nybster Broch car park (off the A99) the broch is just a short walk along the coastline. From here, enjoy a rugged coastal walk, which leads to Keiss Castle. Look out for nesting seabirds on the cliffs. But please take care, as some parts of the route are steep and exposed. You can then return by the same route. Walking directions.


I stayed at the Mackays Hotel,and the steak was amazing done to perfection. The owner took the time to chat and josie the server was lovely, very helpful and gave her own recommendations on the menu. My second time in wick and will definitely stay and eat at the Mackays Hotel again. Room 25 is very nice and comfortable. Really nice hotel 4 stars in my mind

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Keiss Castle...
Close up of Keiss Castle tower house
The ruins of Keiss Castle in Caithness

Keiss Castle history

The 4-story tower house was built around the turn of the 17th century by George, 5th Earl of Caithness, possibly on the site of an older fort, known as Raddar. Sitting high on a cliff edge, exposed to the elements. By the 18th century, it lay in ruins. A new mansion house (New Keiss Castle) was built inland to replace it in 1755.

Times gone by

A romantic castle ruin on the cliff edge

The old Keiss Castle is a reminder of times gone by. Its position on the cliff edge has made it vulnerable to coastal erosion, and unfortunately, a large part of the building has already been lost to the sea. It seems inevitable that the rest will follow in time. Who knows how long that will take? For now, let’s enjoy the stunning views of Sinclair’s Bay and this remarkable historical relic.

Caithness history and heritage

Explore more local history with Mackays

Mackays Hotel is located in a historic area, with so much to discover during your stay with us. So, find more history and heritage sites in the far north of Scotland, and check out lots of other great things to do near Wick in our See and Do Guide.

The ruins of Keiss Castle, Scottish Highlands

Explore more below…